13 Songs, 1 Hour 4 Minutes

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Ratings and Reviews

5.0 out of 5
2 Ratings

2 Ratings

CandiceMichelle1 ,

Ethereal, meditative harp music

Trine Opsahl is a Norwegian-born harpist who moved to Denmark when she was six, where she currently still resides. Having released three studio albums to date, Opsahl’s previous two albums include her 2012 debut, Somewhere in a Hidden Memory, along with her 2015 follow-up, Unbroken Dreams, which was recorded with her cellist daughter Josefine. Her third album, Add Colours to My Sunset Sky, features thirteen compositions that similarly possess lovely titles evocative of nature – all comprised of soul-soothing harp melodies which are often complimented by subtle ambient textures and enchanting wordless vocals.

“Songs from a Mountain I” introduces the album with a droning, harmonic undercurrent and improvised melodic humming, which feels resoundingly earthy and evocative of the desert. Next is “Sunshine on a Stormy Path”, which initially begins with sparse string plucks, before blossoming into a more robust harp melody of reverberating silken chords. This is followed by “Rosebed Garden”, a lighter, airier piece that possesses a somewhat sweeter celestial feel. The next piece, “In A Grain of Sand”, is one of my personal favorites. Beautifully laced with a Celtic touch, wordless ethereal vocals drift along dreamily in tandem with the magical melody emanating from the strings.

The rest of the compositions likewise subtly vary between more delicately buoyant and sunny instrumentals like “Lightly Dance into the Morning” and “Add Colours to My Sunset Sky”, to more hauntingly reverent, vocal-imbued compositions such as “Songs from a Mountain II” and “Diving into an Ocean of Love”. The album ultimately concludes much like how it began with the final piece, “Graceful like a River”, on which the revisiting of the harmonic drone and accompanying vocal intonations seemingly ground the listener back to the earth.

One of the oldest instruments in the world with its origins in the Near East, the harp has always possessed a seemingly mythical and otherworldly quality about it – having long-ago found its way among many cultures, where it's often depicted in ancient art. Likewise, Trine Opsahl aptly transfers this empyrean and primeval essence through her music, as her compositions variably touch on Celtic, Mesopotamian and other old-world signatures. Wholly beautiful and deeply serene, Add Colours to My Sunset Sky will find much appeal among fans of meditative harp music, including works by Áine Minogue, Claire Jones and the like!

KathyPiano7 ,

From MainlyPiano

"Add Colours To My Sunset Sky" is the third solo recording from harpist Trine Opsahl following her critically-acclaimed "Unbroken Dreams" (2015), a harp and cello collaboration with her daughter, Josefine. Opsahl’s 2012 release, "Somewhere in a Hidden Memory," was nominated for “Best Instrumental Album - Acoustic” and “Best Relaxation/Meditation Album” awards by Zone Music Reporter. In addition to the Celtic harp, this album introduces two new elements to Opsahl’s music - her own wordless vocals on five of the thirteen original tracks and the drone of a monochord (which resembles the Indian tamboura in sound) on three. The art of breathing is utilized whenever Opsahl plays and creates music and she explains: “The introduction of the singing voice on this album is for me the manifestation of a natural development in the art of breathing that is so central in my work.” (quoted from the liner notes).

Beyond being a performer and composer, Trine Opsahl takes her music to the Danish health care system, providing music as part of palliative care in hospitals and hospices sharing her soothing melodies and gentle, caring soul. I found it interesting that, as a young person, Opsahl wanted to be either a doctor or a musician, and by providing harp therapy, she is actually accomplishing both ambitions by making a positive difference in people’s lives.

"Add Colours To My Sunset Sky" begins with “Songs From a Mountain I,” which introduces both vocals and the monochord. Opsahl’s voice is haunting and ethereal, and the single droning tone of the monochord throughout the piece - and the two other pieces where it is included - (to me) adds tension, keeping the sometimes mournful voice grounded. “Sunshine On a Stony Path” is a Celtic harp solo that is incredibly soothing and peaceful. It’s a perfect example of why the harp became the traditional instrument of angels and of heaven itself. “Rosebed Garden,” also a harp solo, evokes images of pastel flowers slowly waving in a gentle spring breeze. “In a Grain of Sand” is a bittersweet vocal and harp piece with a delicate folk song feeling. “Eternity In a Song” and “Lightly Dance Into the Morning” return to solo harp and are both delicate and hypnotic. “Songs From a Mountain II” is similar to the opening track, with the addition of the harp. The monochord is used in this version, too, but is mostly in the background, giving the piece a lighter sound. The title track is a gorgeous harp solo with somewhat more vibrant tonal colors that express joy and contentment - my favorite piece on the album. The poignant and haunting “Diving Into An Ocean of Love” is another favorite, this time vocals and harp. I’m not sure why, but I always see shades of blue when I hear this piece. “Leaving On a Thursday Morning” warmly floats on the air as it caresses the soul.

I have to admit that I’m not crazy about the sound of the monochord, but I like everything else about this beautiful and heartfelt album. Check it out!

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